Gordon Allen

We were perhaps more Alpha course than Alpha male...

Elim’s MPower team got some extra tough training recently.

It was a ‘them or us’ situation, and I am not sure who was more nervous ... it was the day that the MPower National Team ‘went commando’. Let me explain before you send an e-mail to the editor.

Recently, the MPower Core Team was invited by the Royal Navy Chaplaincy Team at the Royal Marine Commando Training base near Exeter, to host our team meeting. We were eyed up suspiciously by the soldiers on duty as we approached the main gates of the base. We were perhaps more Alpha course than Alpha male.

Our tour of the base enabled us to gain an insight into the history and values of the Royal Marine Commandos and provided us with a close-up view into the life of a recruit, and hopeful owner of a Green Beret. We were impressed at how closely we could relate the Commando mindset to our own Christian discipleship journey.

“Be the first to understand, the first to adapt and the first to overcome,” the Commando mindset says. This calls for any Royal Marine to be prepared, ready to identify situations, become the difference, and get beyond the challenge or enemy before them.

We should be like ‘men of Issachar’ who understood ‘the signs of the times and knew what Israel should do’, (1 Chronicles 12:32). The Apostle Paul said he was ‘all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some’, (1 Corinthians 9:22). He also said that ‘in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us’, (Romans 8:37).

He knew what he was talking about. Paul had faced many challenging, scary, and ‘out of his comfort zone’ moments as a follower of Christ.

Our discipleship adventure with Jesus calls us to be ‘situationally savvy’. Who or what is in the orbit of your life that could be a blessing, a temptation, or a challenge; that will give you an opportunity to grow or overcome? Apply biblical wisdom and scriptural truth into this real-time situation. Is there a moment to step out in faith in the situation that is before you? Where are the needs around you that offer the chance to share God’s passion and purpose to that man in crisis?

One final thought. These recruits weren’t the finished article. They were progressing through their training. A flash of colour on their uniform, a beanie hat, or a Green Beret signified their development. For each, there was an expectation, an opportunity for challenge and change, and a reward for their discipline and devotion.

 “I press on to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 3:12-14).

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